By the words of Collin Powell, “The healthiest competition occurs when average people win by putting above average effort.”
This must be the heartbeat of the unscrupulous webmasters who use Negative SEO as a means to outshine their business rivals. This topic has currently been on wild debate across the globe, after Google recently admitted the possibility of Negative SEO.
What is Negative SEO
By definition, Negative SEO is the process of deteriorating the visibility of a website or web page in a search engine’s organic search results. This is primarily done by your competitors or SEO pirates.
Your competitor may see this as something easier than positive SEO on their own sites. On the other hand, SEO pirates may hold your website at ransom and demand some payment or else they get your site banned from the search engines.
Knocking Your Website Off The SERPs
- One way to remove a site from the SERPs is by making any search engine believe that the site is actually spammy. The “competitor” therefore adds links to your site from numerous bad neighborhoods, link farms and automated spammy pages. As Google or Bing crawls over the web pages, they detect that element of spam in your site, and your rankings may be forced down.This however depends on the degree of authority your site has developed over the years. For instance, a website with hundreds or thousands of high quality links won’t be affected by the sudden appearance of such spammy links. But if your site is not that authoritative, the little reputation may be brought down without much effort.
- The black hat marketers can also do some real evil with your site url. All they need to do is duplicate the content of your website and present it to the world with just a slightly different url, maybe a letter or a figure changed. They then post hundreds of such links around forums, blogs, link farms and directory listings. This will easily be detected by the search engine and your site gets penalized appropriately
- One more tactic is using fake business reviews so that they don’t appear natural. Your predator simply asks thousands of people to write fake reviews on your products to Google reviews. This will actually throw you out of the SERPs.
The Role of Google
All these malpractices take quite a lot of money, time, dedication and even intelligence in order to achieve the desired goal. You may wonder why someone should go to such an extent, but no market misses a mad man. It has already become a new industry, where Negative SEO firms can be hired to destroy the rankings of your competitor. Personally, I would prefer redirecting the effort to damage other people’s sites to promoting my own site.
This practice remains highly unethical and one can only hope that Google doesn’t allow other people to damage your rankings. This necessity will surely see to it that Google upgrades its webmaster tools to be able to adequately combat this malpractice.